GOP Governor Hogan Is Worried Trump Won't Concede, Calls Lawsuits 'Frivolous'

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan told PBS' Firing Line on Thursday that he doesn't believe President Donald Trump will concede right away if Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden is declared the next U.S. president.

Hogan, a Republican, made his comments as election officials continued tallying votes across the country. Official sources had not yet made calls on a handful of key battleground states by Thursday evening, leaving both candidates shy of the 270 electoral votes needed to declare victory.

While Biden was ahead in both the Electoral College and popular vote Thursday evening, Trump claimed he has won some of the states still up for grabs. The president's campaign has also filed lawsuits related to ongoing ballot counting, including litigation in Georgia, Michigan and Pennslyvania to stop counting ballots altogether.

Hogan told Firing Line he hasn't personally reviewed all of the campaign's recent legal efforts but said Trump is "a guy who has always been very litigious and used lawsuits as a strategic effort throughout his entire career."

President Donald Trump
President Donald Trump speaks during election night in the East Room of the White House in Washington, D.C., early on November 4, 2020. Maryland Governor Larry Hogan said Trump’s declaration of victory before all votes had been counted was an “assault on our entire democratic process.” MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images

"Every state is, I think, working really hard to make sure those votes are counted," Hogan said. "But just frivolous lawsuits to drag this out, if there's no merit to them, absolutely is wrong for the country."

In the early hours of Wednesday morning, Trump delivered a speech in which he claimed victory in the election, a declaration that received pushback from politicians and members of the media due to ballot counting efforts that were ongoing in several states.

"This was kind of an assault on our entire democratic process," Hogan said of Trump's speech. "To make those kinds of, you know, off-base charges and attacks and question the results and to claim victory and to kind of raise issues that there was no evidence of was really inappropriate."

Trump has also made accusations of voter fraud without evidence and questioned the legitimacy of ballots received after Election Day, despite some states' laws allowing such ballots to be received so long as they were postmarked by November 3. His campaign's lawsuits, coupled with his statements questioning election results, have raised concerns that the president will resist conceding if he does not win re-election.

Hogan said "there's a part of me that's worried" that Trump will not immediately concede in the event that Biden is declared the winner.

"I believe very strongly that our system has worked for 200 years and it's going to work and that, one way or another, we're going to have a transition," Hogan said. If Biden does reach 270 electoral votes and the lawsuits filed by Trump's campaign do not pan out, "I think there's going to be growing pressure for him to change his tune and to maybe accept the results of the election," he added.

Hogan said he was hopeful other members of his party would step up to encourage Trump to concede if Biden wins. "I think people are starting to feel a little more comfortable speaking up," he said of his fellow Republicans.

Following Hogan's appearance on Firing Squad, Trump delivered a speech at the White House that opened with the statement, "If you count the legal votes, I easily win. If you count the illegal votes, they can try to steal the election from us."

Trump went on to criticize many of the pollsters for pre-election predictions that showed him behind in states that he later won and said mail-in voting has "destroyed our system."

In response to Trump's speech, Hogan said on Twitter, "There is no defense for the President's comments tonight undermining our Democratic process. America is counting the votes, and we must respect the results as we always have before. No election or person is more important than our Democracy."

Newsweek reached out to Trump's campaign for comment but did not receive a response in time for publication.